The North American P-51 Mustang
P-51 Mustang at Reno 2005
Ramp Action
story and photos by Curtis Fowles

The Reno Air Race Ramp. During the day the race ramp if packed with racers coming in and out of the pits, run-ups, fueling, class start-ups and shut-downs. After the last race each day, the ramp changes a bit and hosts a variety of going ons.

You will still see engine runs, and test flights but you will be treated with some of the aircraft that are not in the races taking to the skies. The OV-10 Bronco in full Marine colours (oh that's so cool) went up in the evening. The pace T-33 with Steve Hinton at the controls usually goes up each evening. One time the T-33 went up to fly the wing of the OV-10 (no I'm not jealous).

RN5_5036t.jpg RN5_5821t.jpg RN5_5825t.jpg RN5_5842t.jpg RN5_5847t.jpg RN5_5849t.jpg RN5_5856t.jpg RN5_5865t.jpg RN5_5879t.jpg RN5_5884t.jpg RN5_5887t.jpg RN5_5897t.jpg RN5_6369t.jpg

I was waiting for the F-100 to go up ... but didn't happen. There was also an F-86 in civilian colours in the pits. Ike Enns, Rob Patterson and the Planes of Fame P-51 were all up in the evening - Art Vance too, all in their Mustangs.

RN5_6389t.jpg RN5_6393t.jpg RN5_7211t.jpg RN5_7213t.jpg RN5_7216t.jpg Reno5_2119t.jpg Reno5_2219t.jpg Reno5_2233t.jpg Reno5_2238t.jpg Reno5_2244t.jpg Reno5_2246t.jpg Reno5_2252t.jpg Reno5_2262t.jpg

Rare Bear and the Tigercat each went up to do some testing. Steve Patterson in his Sea Fury went up for a photo shoot (lucky Chris Luvara) drug his camera gear in Somes' T-6 for a perfect evening shoot. Many T-6s took off and did some formation passes. If you get bored at the ramp, there is still some action in the pits. The evening light is soft and warm (color temp) for nice photos.

Keep a jacket handy, cause as the sun gets lower, so does the temps and it still can be a bit breezy at dusk in Reno. When the sun sets, that's usually time to start heading out ... ready to do it all again the next day.

Reno5_2271t.jpg Reno5_2274t.jpg Reno5_2283t.jpg Reno5_2287t.jpg Reno5_2447t.jpg Reno5_2485t.jpg Reno5_2498t.jpg Reno5_2509t.jpg Reno5_2520t.jpg Reno5_2525t.jpg Reno5_2570t.jpg Reno5_2588t.jpg Reno_2520t.jpg reno5_2215t.jpg